Samuel King stood 6’4 in his worn jeans, long-sleeved dark blue work shirt with his long weathered face crowned by a greasy black hair comb over, eyes as black as his hair and his 283 pounds was solid from years of manual labor. His feet were planted a foot apart shod in cowboy boots caked in so much grease, mud and red Georgia clay that the color was hard pressed to be named. He towered like an angry thundercloud in the front counter area of McDonald’s, totally out-of-place among the bright yellow, white and red decor. Sam didn’t care. He didn’t care that he didn’t fit in, he didn’t care that people were moving as far away from him as he could and he didn’t care that the 21-year-old red-haired frail looking manager was telling him that he had to leave.
“Shut up, I ain’t leavin’ ‘til Becca gits on home.” The man shouted, blasting spittle on the managers head.
Kevin Engle was the youngest manager McDonald’s had in this restaurant and he was frantically wishing one of the other managers was on duty instead of him. He was rightfully frightened by Sam King and suddenly aware of why Rebecca King worried when he switched her shifts or had her work late. She had tried to explain that her father was difficult and didn’t understand she couldn’t always get off right on time or had to work a different shift than expected. Kevin remembered her request to use the phone one more time during the last hour of her delayed departure and his own refusal to allow her. Well, tomorrow, Kevin decided, tomorrow Rebecca’s difficult father wouldn’t be his issue anymore because he had all intentions of letting her go.
“Sir, you can’t act…” but that was as far as Kevin’s quaking voice got as tried to regain some of his authority. Sam’s large baseball size hand reached out from the end of his leg sized arm, seized Kevin by the collar of his uniform and tossed him aside. Before anyone could react he had swept over the front counter, uncaring of the displays he knocked down and landed beside the terrified cashiers. “Becca! Becca you best be gittin on out here girl ‘cause when I find you you are in for one more whoppin’!”
Kevin recovered enough to scramble to his feet and he shot out of the restaurant with a speed the coach would have admired as he ran for the fire station less than a football field away. When he burst into the bay, panting and panicked the firemen had a hard time understanding what Kevin’s emergency was but once they heard the name of Sam King they knew it was trouble. One of them called the police while three others went back with Kevin to McDonald’s. Maybe they could calm Sam down although not one of them believed it possible.
Hanging back Kevin let the firemen go in first, feeling braver standing behind them than in the lead. The customers had cleared out and so had the employees except for the ones Sam had either pushed down or knocked out. One was laid out visible just beneath the swinging gate leading to the back of the counters, another midway down the aisle at the grill. Sam could be heard still calling and threatening his daughter somewhere in the back, his curses loud and ugly.
One of the firemen used his walkie-talkie to request for paramedics and the other two went to help the victims. Leaving the walkie-talkie fireman to also deal with Sam. “Anything back there like a gun or knives?” he asked Kevin.
Kevin’s negative response helped the fireman quickly decide to wait for the police unless Sam became a threat to someone instead of property. Already in the distance police sirens were heard.
Sam King slammed out of the McDonald’s back door and walked right into the path of Officer Macon who had his gun out and aimed. He was subdued after only a little resistance and handcuffed before being left in the back of the patrol car. His anger seethed within him and he added the weight of the last half hour’s events into Becca’s account. Although some might think him to be illiterate he was shrewd. He knew he could not afford to allow anger to pour from him now, he would wait until he had Becca in hand before venting that, but it was hard to pull himself back into control.
Twenty minutes later on the way to the police station Sam remembered that his wife was responsible for taking Becca to and from work today and he had the impression Martha had told him something about needing to stop at her mother’s to help her with something or the other. That meant the reason Becca wasn’t home yet was because her mother had made that extra stop. That was okay, Sam reasoned, then they would both pay. They would both pay dearly.
To be continued…